|Publication number||US7997443 B2|
|Application number||US 11/939,120|
|Publication date||Aug 16, 2011|
|Filing date||Nov 13, 2007|
|Priority date||Nov 13, 2007|
|Also published as||US20090120951, WO2009064668A1|
|Publication number||11939120, 939120, US 7997443 B2, US 7997443B2, US-B2-7997443, US7997443 B2, US7997443B2|
|Inventors||Richard Petras Titas, Christopher Andrew Brizes, Mark Edward Cipolla, Paul Dana Stephens, Christopher Daniel Carsten|
|Original Assignee||Cintas Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (36), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (2), Classifications (32), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to the field of paper towel dispensers, and more specifically to a center-pull dispenser for dispensing paper towels from a continuous roll of towels separated by perforations.
Dispensers for paper towels are commonly placed near sinks in lavatories and public restrooms to enable users to dry their hands after washing. Typically, the paper towel dispenser is mounted on a wall adjacent a sink. The dispensers are usually hand operated by the user, and dispense a length of paper towel according to pulling action by the user. Some dispensers are provided with an actuating mechanism for dispensing paper towels. Whatever its design, a dispenser should remain closed when used by the public and be easily opened for refilling by service personnel.
Dispensers have various mechanisms for dispensing paper towels. Some dispensers have a metering mechanism that requires a user to push an activating button or wait a period of time before another paper towel can be pulled from the dispenser. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,664,304 describes a metering mechanism having a button that must be depressed by the user for each paper towel dispensed. Such an actuating button is typically connected with a drive mechanism or other moving parts that function in the act of dispensing. U.S. Pat. No. 6,869,041 describes a piston assembly comprising a biasing member and a piston that contacts the tail of a paper towel roll extending through the dispensing opening. However, dispensers having gears and other moving parts to regulate the dispensing of paper towels may be prone to breakage or other dispensing problems.
Thus, there is a continuing need for a simple and reliable paper towel dispenser that provides a user with a single paper towel at a time, and does not require any action by the user other than pulling out the paper towel. The dispenser should be easily mountable on a wall and should remain closed when used by the public and be easily opened for refilling by service personnel. Additionally, a dispenser having no metering mechanism with moving parts should be more reliable and less expensive to manufacture.
In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a center-pull dispenser for dispensing paper towels from a continuous roll wherein each individual towel is separated from an adjoining towel by a plurality of perforations, said dispenser comprising:
a) a housing having a housing back and a detachable front cover hingedly connected thereto at the lower periphery of said housing back and front cover for opening and closing said housing;
b) a paper support tray removably connected to a lower portion of the housing back, said support tray having a generally planar top surface, a centrally located dispensing nozzle having an orifice for dispensing individual towels therethrough, and at least one locking element for releasably locking at least one first hinge element on the lower periphery of said front cover to at least one second hinge element on the lower periphery of said housing back;
c) an opening in the lower periphery of said housing through which the towels are dispensed; and
d) a wall-mounting member for removably mounting the housing back to a wall.
In another embodiment, the invention relates to such a center-pull dispenser wherein the paper support tray comprises locking arms for releasably locking first hinge elements on the lower periphery of the front cover against second hinge elements on the lower periphery of the housing back.
In another embodiment, the invention relates to such a center-pull dispenser further comprising a locking member for releasably locking the front cover to the housing back and the housing back to the wall-mounting member.
The present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which embodiments of the invention are shown. The materials, methods and examples described are illustrative in nature and not intended to be limiting. Accordingly, this invention should not be construed as limited to the illustrated embodiments. Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and claims.
The dispensers of the invention have a wall-mounting member for removably mounting the housing back to a wall. For example, dispenser 10 further comprises a detachable wall-mounting member 30 for supporting housing 12 and removably mounting housing back 14 to a wall. Wall-mounting member 30 typically is releasably engageable with housing back 14 so that the housing back or the full housing 12 may be removed from the wall without removing the wall-mounting member itself from the wall. As illustrated in
In one embodiment of the invention, the dispenser comprises a locking member for releasably locking the front cover of the housing to the housing back. Various locking members known in the art, e.g., the locking mechanism described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,275,672 and 6,869,041 and U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0261076 A1, all incorporated herein by reference, can be used in the present invention. In another embodiment, the dispenser comprises a locking member for releasably locking the front cover of the housing to the housing back and the housing back to the wall-mounting member. In the dispenser shown in
As shown in
As shown in
Once a paper towel roll is loaded into dispenser 10, front cover 16 of the housing can be closed against housing back 14 and locked. Closing the front cover also secures paper support tray 22 inside housing 12. When the user pulls the tail of the paper towel roll, the towels tear at the perforations, regardless of the thickness or grade of paper used and whether the paper is 1-ply, 2-ply, or 3-ply. It will be appreciated that the abrasiveness of the paper dispensed through dispensing orifice 28 may cause wear on the orifice. The rate of wear will depend on the frequency of use of the dispenser, the composition and design of the dispensing orifice, and the thickness and abrasiveness of the paper. In one embodiment, a protective liner made of a relatively hard, wear-resistant material, such as metal cone 29 shown in
As noted above, the front cover of the housing is hingedly connected to the housing back through hinges for opening and closing of the housing. Various hinges known in the art, e.g., those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,275,672 and 6,869,041 and U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0261076 A1, all incorporated herein by reference, can be used in the present invention. In one embodiment, such as shown in
As also shown in
As noted above,
Dispenser 10 is typically mounted on a wall by first attaching wall-mounting member 30 to a wall surface. Housing back 14 is then fit inside the wall-mounting member flush against the back bracket 35. The housing back is slid down to engage catches 39 with catches 37, horizontally locking the housing back to the wall-mounting member. Slide bar 47 is then pushed toward the wall to engage latch 38 and vertically lock the housing back to the wall-mounting member. Front cover 16 is then attached to the housing back by fitting pivot-ring arms 70 between pivot-post arms 64 and end-capping arms 68. The pivot-ring arms are moved horizontally so that pivot posts 66 fit inside openings 72, thereby fitting the pivot-ring arms onto the pivot-post arms. Support piece 25 of paper support tray 22 is then fit between upper and lower rib members 40 and 41 of the housing back, which simultaneously inserts locking arms 74 against pivot-ring arms 70 to prevent them from slipping off pivot posts 66. Locking arms 74 also abut against end-capping arms 68, completing hinges 18 and releasably locking the first hinge elements 61 of the front cover to the second hinge elements 62 of the housing back. Hinges 18 thus allow front cover 16 to pivot toward or away from housing back 14. After a paper towel roll is placed on the paper support tray, the front cover of the dispenser is closed against the housing back. As described above, when the front cover is closed against the housing back, locking tongue 44 is inserted into channel 46 and engages locking detente 49, thereby locking the front cover to the housing back. To unlock the dispenser, key 50 is inserted into locking member 56 and rotated clockwise toward the user, as described above. The front cover can then be pivoted away from the housing back to expose the interior of the housing. The disperser may then be cleaned and/or refilled with a new paper towel roll. The dispenser may be removed from the wall by reversing the assembly and mounting steps described above.
The invention thus provides a simple and reliable paper towel dispenser that does not require any action by the user other than pulling out the paper towel. Since the dispenser has no metering mechanism with moving parts, it should be more reliable and less expensive to manufacture than other dispensers. The dispenser can be quickly mounted to or removed from a wall by service personnel. The housing can be easily opened for refilling, and the housing or just the front cover and/or the paper support tray can be quickly removed from the mounted dispenser and cleaned or replaced without removing the wall-mounting member or the housing back from the wall.
The invention also provides a method for dispensing a paper towel from a continuous roll of paper towels having a plurality of spaced apart lines of perforations therebetween defining individual paper towels. The method includes the step of placing the roll of paper towels in a dispenser housing having a housing back and a front cover hingedly connected thereto for opening and closing the housing. The method continues by inserting a tail of the paper towel roll through a dispensing orifice for a dispensing nozzle positioned along a lower periphery of the housing. Upon closing the housing, the tail inserted through the dispensing orifice is accessible to the user. Pulling the tail through the dispensing orifice causes sufficient friction against the paper to tear the roll along a line of perforations so as to dispense a single towel.
The invention also provides a method for mounting the center-pull dispenser to a wall by following the above-described steps.
The drawings and specification describe various embodiments of the invention. Although specific terms are employed, the terms are used in a descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. The invention has been described in detail with specific reference to the illustrated embodiments. It will be apparent, however, that various modifications and changes can be made within the spirit and scope of the invention as described in the specification and as defined in the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||221/45, 221/33, 242/615.4, 242/596.8, 225/52, 242/593, 225/106, 222/333, 221/65, 220/253, 225/96.5, 222/105, 242/615.3, 222/63, 16/386, 242/132, 221/62, 242/137|
|International Classification||B65H49/38, B65H18/02, B65H16/02, B65H1/00, A47K10/24|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T225/393, Y10T225/253, Y10T225/325, A47K2010/3233, A47K2010/3246, A47K10/3818, A47K2010/3206, Y10T16/557|
|Jan 24, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CINTAS CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TITAS, RICHARD PETRAS;BRIZES, CHRISTOPHER ANDREW;CIPOLLA, MARK EDWARD;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020407/0500;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071210 TO 20080111
Owner name: CINTAS CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TITAS, RICHARD PETRAS;BRIZES, CHRISTOPHER ANDREW;CIPOLLA, MARK EDWARD;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071210 TO 20080111;REEL/FRAME:020407/0500
|Dec 31, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4